Posted by: Jim | January 18, 2008

The King is Dead


Bobby Fischer, dead at 64.

I love chess, and it’s partly because of Bobby. His match in 1972 against Boris Spassky is what got me into the game. I play on, and play under the name of Rickdeckard. I’m ranked about 1500. Bobby was not rankable as far as I know, but was somewhere far above 2500. He was a genius, a racist, and a kook. The perfect mascot for America.



  1. Couldn’t agree more, Jim, and I posted on the same news this morning.

    The word ‘genius’ is overused, but Fischer was the genuine article. So he failed in many ways as a human being, I don’t think that’s important, and it’s not what he will likely be remembered for. As well as focusing worldwide attention on the game, he produced some amazing performances, that even played back on a chess engine, divorced from their original context, still give me the thrill of watching a great artist at work.

  2. Hey I saw this dude in a movie. He played checkers and shit.

  3. 1.E2 – E4 – What can I say? Rabid unfettered genius!

  4. Actually Bobby faked his own death. He was tired of being just a pawn like the rest of us. He now lives somewhere in the South Pacific and beats all the natives at Mah Jongg.

    * * *

  5. Fischer was a genius at chess. That’s about it (unless you want to include most other games). Well maybe you could also apply the word ‘eccentric.’

    Please save the word genius for those like Einstein and Mozart, eccentric as they were.

  6. Chess is just as worthy a field for genius as painting or music or science.

  7. So what was Einstein a genius at besides physics? And Mozart besides music?

    I don’t remember hearing he was a genius at anything/everything else. Likewise with Fischer.

    The fact is that the depth and quality of competition at work within top level chess today make any stand-out player almost certainly a genius in their field, there is no other way to dominate. Kasparov is also a genius (at chess).

    And chess is also absent a subjective element as we have in the judging of painting, with success having an empirical basis.

  8. Come on, guys, give ol’ Toddy a break. After all, his rate of being absolutely wrong is an astounding 99.99999% of the time. That makes him a genius at, well, being wrong. That batting average is no mean feat, surpassed only in recent memory by Todd’s idol and mentor CheneyBushzilla The Hun, who has managed the incredible achievement of consistent, measurable, 110% wrongness.

    I don’t know about the rest of you guys, but I, for one, am humbled.

    * * *

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